Why Do People Like Electronic Dance Music (EDM)?

Electronic dance music festival with silhouettes of happy dancing people with raised hands

Some people don’t like electronic dance music (EDM), yet its popularity has only soared over recent years. So what is it about EDM that draws listeners in and keeps them coming back for more? Why do people like it?

Although music is a subjective experience, most EDM fans praise this type of music for its complex rhythms, upbeat energy, danceability, and unconventionality. For EDM lovers, it’s more than just club music. It’s a feeling and a way of life you have to explore to understand.

Let’s explore the complexities that EDM fans praise and try to understand why this music type has grown to become one of the largest players in the music industry.

People Like Electronic Dance Music

Electronic dance music fans are often carried away by the complex rhythmic beats, tense build-ups, and strong drops. The rhythm of the music can create an emotional rollercoaster that listeners enjoy.

Rhythm is the heart of nearly all electronic music genres, but the beat and the drop constitute the backbone and the meat of what listeners look for in EDM. Rhythm is an integral part of all musical genres, and we can trace its importance back to religious ceremonies, tribal chants, and even prehistoric instruments.

As neuroscientists are beginning to learn, complex rhythmic beats transcend logic and seem ingrained in our brains and bodies. Our circadian rhythms, heartbeats, and even neural waves follow complex beats that seek out and synchronize with rhythmic patterns. As we listen to EDM, we cannot help but find beauty in the rhythmic complexity of the music.

A lot of this complexity comes from EDM’s unusual instrumentation. Traditional music uses instruments such as strings, brass, woodwinds, and standard percussive instruments. EDM can also rely on synthesizers, looped samples, electric bass, and drum machines.

When EDM artists combine these sounds, they can create riveting beats that carry the listener on a rollercoaster ride of upward emotion before dropping them into a powerful musical breakdown.

Is EDM Made for Dancing?

As the name “Electronic Dance Music” suggests, EDM can be perfect for getting up and moving your feet. As listeners become entranced by the thumping baselines and soaring rhythms, they probably move along to the beat. When the build-up finally drops, something magical happens.

DJ playing stereo loud sound rhythm set for attractive, stylish, cheerful positive people crowd to hang out enjoying evening having fun time festive concert at a fashionable modern nightclub

Compared to other popular types of music these days, in my opinion, nothing compares to the emotional ride of an EDM performance. Most EDM songs have the following structural parts:

  • Intro
  • Breakdown
  • Build-up
  • Drop

The song changes and intensifies at the drop, which can cause crowds to jump with joy and throw their hands up in the air. It can happen at the drop that listeners can’t help but feel the music take over their bodies, and they begin dancing uncontrollably.

EDM has become a staple music type at music festivals, nightclubs, and parties, by which its danceability might be the reason for this success. Most impressively, EDM has taken over more than just the western world. For example, EDM has fans in Tokyo and Seoul nightclubs, parties in Manila, and festivals in Morocco.

How Does EDM Make People Feel?

It might be hard not to feel joyous when listening to EDM. Few musical styles manage to take over some of their listeners as aggressively as EDM, and it’s the ability to fill these listeners with sheer joy that brings them back time and time again. EDM can be about more than just having fun, though.

If you think EDM is only for the club or festival circuit, you would be sorely mistaken. Many fans listen to EDM in their daily lives with the hope of capturing the upbeat energy held within its beats. It gives them the same sense of happiness and joy that they would experience if they were at a club or music festival.

EDM has also proven itself to be a successful music type for certain activities:

  • Working out: Anyone who frequents the gym has probably heard EDM playing over the loudspeakers. EDM’s possible fast tempo and upbeat rhythms are perfect for getting a workout in.
  • Working hard: Many listeners prefer to enjoy EDM while at work. Sometimes we all need a little more energy to get us through a stressful workday, and EDM can be the right medicine for the job.
  • While studying: Just as EDM can help you get through the mid-afternoon lull, listening to it while you study can help keep your brain focused and alert.

You don’t have to dance to enjoy electronic dance music. Let the rhythms and drops guide you through your day, and finish it with a smile on your face.

How Is EDM Different From Other Music?

EDM is not a traditional style of music since it lacks traditional instrumentation, which might be a reason for some people not to like EDM. For EDM fans, though, the nature of EDM is something to praise, not disparage.

Flat top lay home music studio DJ and producer equipment on the black table (Black and white)

Fully enjoying EDM means giving yourself over to the music without a second thought. Many EDM songs don’t even have lyrics, meaning that the only way you can enjoy it is to feel the rhythms and other parts, such as a catchy melody or groovy bassline. It’s through this experience that you gain an emotional understanding of the music.

You could find subtlety in the space and complexity in the textured electronic sounds. Over time, your ears will begin to pick up the nature of EDM and appreciate it for what it is—danceable electronic music to your inner rhythm.

One Final Thought on Electronic Dance Music

Although electronic dance music might not be to everyone’s liking, it has a strong and growing following worldwide. Listeners enjoy it for its rhythms, its danceability, how it makes them feel, and the nature of listening to something without traditional instrumentation. As you listen to the music more, you may even find that you enjoy it at least as much as any other type of music.


By Markus Kreukniet

Markus Kreukniet is an electronic dance music (EDM) producer and founder of Passion for EDM. He wants to share his EDM knowledge with the rest of the world. Read more about Markus Kreukniet.

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